After a run of three ACC Trophys in Malaysia Kuwait are hosting the event for the first time. “It is the biggest tournament in the history of Kuwait cricket so far and we hope not only that the home team does well, but that we too as a nation do a good job for the ACC and all visiting teams,” says Kuwait Cricket Director General Asad Baig.

The fixtures have been announced for the 2010 ACC Trophy Elite to be held in Kuwait between March 31st and April 9th. The ten-team tournament has Bhutan competing at the senior elite-level for the very first time since they gained promotion from the 2009 ACC Trophy Challenge.

Hong Kong, 2008 ACC Trophy Elite winners

This promises to be the toughest tournament yet. The UAE were unbeaten in the ACC Trophy from 2000 to 2008, however in the last tournament Saudi Arabia beat them in the group stage and they surrendered their hold on the event losing the Final to Hong Kong by three wickets. Since then Hong Kong have been joined by Afghanistan, Nepal and Singapore as serious contenders.

Newest ODI nation, Afghanistan, recently became the only Affiliate to qualify for the ICC World T20 after they won the Qualifier.

Afghanistan supporters at the 2009 ACC U-19 Elite Cup in Kuwait

Afghanistan always have strong support wherever they play. “We are expecting crowds of many thousands and are preparing ourselves for this. They are very supportive and passionate and although they are mostly Afghan supporters, they also appreciate good cricket,” says Mr. Baig.

“Afghanistan, Bahrain, Nepal ,Singapore and UAE have been playing regular cricket in ICC tournaments over the past season and that surely will have raised their standards. Kuwait is a challenging place to play and the team that wins the event, having gone through six matches over 10 days, will surely deserve the title of best developing team in Asia,” says ACC Program Coordinator Ganesan Sundarammoorthy.

Tournament Page

Filed March 8th, 2010